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Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16370
Experience:  13 years experience, divorce & custody issues, protective orders, child abuse issues
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Hello, I need legal advice from an attorney who is familiar

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I need legal advice from an attorney who is familiar with the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada, Family Court's laws, prior rulings, local rules and procedures.

I have joint custody with my ex-husband and children's father. Per the Court's Divorce Decree, which includes child custody schedule, I am scheduled to have the children this coming Friday, August 23rd, from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 26, 2013.

I asked my ex-husband (hereinafter referred to as "John") to take the kids for the above-mentioned weekend until the afternoon of Sunday, August 22, 2013. My plans have changed and I will be in town for the above weekend.

John had sent me an email, about 10 days ago, unilaterally setting forth a new child custody schedule. I never agreed to or acknowledged or agreed to said schedule.

Yesterday afternoon I learned my plans have changed for the weekend. Today I notified John that I would be in town this weekend; therefore, we would revert to the regular court ordered child custody schedule (especially since I never agreed to the unilateral changes John had proposed in a prior email). This means I would have the children from this Friday at 3:00 p.m. until Monday at 8:00 a.m.

John sent several ballistic emails, with the last stating John would not allow me to pick up the children this weekend until Sunday afternoon.

Does he have any legal authority to do so? What recourse do I have? Do I need to file something with the Court? Call the police for kidnapping to have them produce the children? Please advise ASAP.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX

Hello Lisa --


I am sorry to hear about this situation. First, I want to let you know that here at Just Answer our attorneys are licensed in various states and answer questions in all states based upon their specific areas of the law that they specialize in. While the laws regarding family law are all pretty much uniform across the country (all 50 states have adopted the Uniform Interstate Child Custody Act, setting forth the same procedures for courts to handle child custody and visitation cases across the US), I have actually practiced in Nevada while working for a larger firm several years ago and am familiar with court procedures there generally.


Turning to your individual questions set forth above, you are correct that he does not have the right to make unilateral changes to a court approved visitation schedule and you can file a Motion for Contempt of Court against him in the family court that has been handling the case since your divorce. Unfortunately, you will not be able to get into court with such a motion before this Friday in order to get these matters straightened out prior to your attempting to pick up your kids on Friday (even on an emergency basis in these cases, it can still take a week for the matter to get put on the judges calendar unless it is a medical emergency / life or death issue). If you want to handle the matter yourself without using an attorney you can go to the clerk's office at the court and ask them for a generic motion form that you can use/revise for a Motion for Contempt -- in the written motion you simply write it up as you did above and attach exhibits such as the original visitation agreement and a couple of his emails to you added on as exhibits to your motion will show the court that he can be abusive about these matters to a point where you are unable to deal with him and thus you are requesting a hearing for the court to fine or otherwise sanction your ex husband as the judge sees fit (generally the court will issue a fine at first and then as time goes on if you end up back in court on these same matters then the judge may put him in jail for a night or two and/or change the full physical custody over to you if you request it).


REgarding what you can do about this weekend -- if you have a copy of the original agreement and it sets forth that you are to have the children this weekend (or it can be easily calculated by the wording of the agreement that your weekend is, in fact, this coming weekend) then you can go to the police station and ask them for assistance in gathering your children for their scheduled visitation. You should first attempt to pick them up yourself (send an email or text that you are on your way and will arrive at XXXX time for the weekend visitation pursuant to the current visitation agreement) and then if they are not home you may want to try back a few times until you see they are home and if he refuses to hand them over then you can go to the police department and show an officer the proof that you have that it is your weekend and the notices that you sent to him and because the matter involves a court order the police are required to assist you in collecting the children if it cannot be done peacefully and amicably. If for some reason the local police refuse to assist you then you should ask the state police for their assistance. If the law enforcement agencies fail you and he will still not hand over the children then your only other recourse is to wait until Monday morning and filing an emergency motion for Contempt of Court and then the court will hopefully straighten these matters out once and for all.


I think that pretty much covers the questions that you asked but please let me know if I missed anything or if you have further questions on thse matters and I am happy to answer these questions even after you press a positive rating below (your question does not close and you can come back and ask follow up questions on this same thread for the next several weeks which may be helpful if you have to file a contempt motion in court),






Please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating below. While I understand that you may be a bit disappointed that there are no legal actions you can take to get the matter back into court before Friday, please realize that if there was some immediate legal relief that you could use before Friday I would have pointed you in that direction and I would appreciate that you keep that in mind when choosing a rating below -- if there were something in the law that would help immediately (if not sooner), I would certainly have laid it out for you in the answer above. This is how I earn a living in a tough economy and unless you press a positive rating below I will be paid NOTHING -- so I really DO appreciate it when my customers are conscientous enough to press a positive rating before leaving the website. Pressing a positive rating will NOT cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as a trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU

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